Pinpoint Oxford Eiderdown Coverlet Tutorial + Wise Craft Book Giveaway

on April 3 | in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Products, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 88 Comments

Blair Stocker’s new book is now available! WISE CRAFT: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects Into Stuff You Love features four seasonal chapters packed with 60 craft projects to help you create a handmade home.

From Running Press:

    …This ultimate craft guide focuses on creating a homemade atmosphere that reflects your family, without spending a fortune. Instead of throwing away old shirts and boring dishes, or passing up thrift store finds that aren’t quite right, Blair teaches how to remake, adding special touches to make them work for her home – and yours.

We’ve visited Wise Craft for just about a decade now! We love Blair’s approach to really making her home both embody and comfort her busy, creative family.

Blair and Running Press are sharing the Pinpoint Oxford Eiderdown Coverlet project from WISE CRAFT: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects Into Stuff You Love below. Blair’s coverlet repurposes Oxford cloth shirts but you can also use the tutorial with any fabric of your choice. Have fun with this easy project (perfect for a beginner!), and be sure to comment below for your chance to win a copy of the book. (US addresses only this time, please.) Tell us about something you’ve made recently… Have you turned a thrift store find into something fabulous? Did you use fabric scraps or natural objects to make something special? What’s your latest crafty success?

Check out the trailer for Blair’s book for more on the projects. If you’re a local here in the Pacific Northwest there are also some opportunities to talk with Blair and learn more in person on her book tour.


Pinpoint Oxford Eiderdown Coverlet

Reprinted with permission from Running Press from WISE CRAFT: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects Into Stuff You Love by Blair Stocker, 2014.

This is the perfect bit of extra warmth to pull out in early spring when there’s still a bit of chill in the air. Inspired by a traditional English eiderdown, it has two layers of batting to create a cozy cover to throw over cold toes (or over a sleeping child when Mom has put the flannel sheets away a little too soon). The Pinpoint Oxford cloth used for high-quality men’s dress shirts is a gorgeously fine fabric, wonderful to sew with. I focused on three main colors (white, pale blue, and a darker blue), but chose shade and weave variations within each of those colors for added surface interest. As a rule of thumb, each shirt will yield about twenty-five 4½-inch squares. I chose neutral colors that would work anywhere in our house, but it would also be beautiful done in stripes, checks, or bold prints.

The finished size is 48 inches square. This is a great size to use as a top layer for a child’s crib or as a lap blanket, but you can easily make a larger or smaller quilt by simply adding or subtracting rows.

Materials:

  • 6 men’s Pinpoint Oxford cloth shirts in varying colors and textures
  • 1 twin-size cotton bedsheet, for backing
  • 2 packages crib-size high-loft quilt batting, between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick (I used Soft n Crafty Poly-Fil Extra-Loft batting, 45 x 60 inches)
  • 1 skein size 8 perle cotton embroidery thread in a complementary color (you could also use wool or cotton yarn)
  • Audio books: This project is a great time to catch up!

From the Crafter’s Toolkit:

  • Iron and ironing board
  • Fabric scissors
  • Quilter’s clear ruler
  • Rotary cutter and self-healing cutting mat
  • Painter’s blue tape
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine and coordinating thread
  • Size 3 or 4 upholstery needle with a sharp tip
  • Hand-sewing needle

To Make:
1. Prepare the shirts and sheet. Wash, dry, and press all the shirts and the bedsheet you’ll use for the back. Set aside the bedsheet for now.

2. Cut squares. Cut away the collars, cuffs, pockets, and seams from the shirt. From the panels that are left, cut 4½-inch squares, using your quilter’s clear ruler, rotary cutter, and cutting mat. I used fifty squares of whites, fifty of light blues, and fifty of darker blues.

3. Lay out your design. Working in rows from left to right and top to bottom, following the illustration, lay out the patchwork pattern. (Tip: It’s nice to have a cleared floor space or large table for this step.) Distribute any variations within each color range throughout the pattern so there is a nice flow of colors across the coverlet. If you need to move this project before the top is sewn together, stack each row from right to left in order (placing next square on top), labeling each stack with painter’s blue tape: “Row 1,” “Row 2,” and so on. Pin or clip each row together.

4. Sew the squares into rows. Machine sew the squares together one row at a time with the right sides together and using a ¼-inch seam allowance. It helps to lay out each row again after you’ve sewn it to double check the patchwork pattern. Press all seam allowances open.

5. Sew the rows together. Starting with the top two rows, right sides facing, pin well, matching up each square’s seamlines. Machine sew lengthwise across the rows, using a ¼-inch seam allowance, and press the seam allowances open. Continue doing this until you’ve pieced the top completely. The coverlet top is now complete.

6. Sew the patchwork front to the backing sheet. Trim down the backing sheet so it’s the same size as the patchwork front, which should be 48½ inches square. Lay the patchwork top on your backing sheet, right sides together. Pin and sew along three of the four sides, just as if you’re sewing a large pillowcase, using a ¼-inch seam allowance. Trim away the excess fabric at the corners to ease bulk and turn right side out, gently pushing corners out.

7. Insert the batting into the “pillowcase.” Cut two layers of batting to measure 45 inches square (trimming the batting a bit smaller compensates for the extra bulk it has). Place both layers on top of each other, smoothing them out. Slip the layers into the cover through the open side. Take your time; this can be a bit fussy. (Tip: It helped me to match up a corner of the batting layers, once they were inside, with a corner of the cover, and pin those together to hold them while I worked on the other side.) Once all the layers are stacked and in place, pin together: Starting in the center of the quilt top and moving outward, place a pin in the middle of each square, going through all the layers.

8. Tie the layers together. Thread the upholstery needle with perle cotton thread or yarn. Working from the back to front of the coverlet, bring the needle up at each corner where four squares meet. Make a ¼-to ½-inch-long diagonal stitch across that seam, pushing the needle back through to the back. Tie with a square knot on the back, leaving 3-inch tails. Do this over the entire coverlet.

9. Finish the coverlet. To close the open end, fold in a ¼-inch seam allowance, press lightly, and pin the edges together. Slipstitch closed by hand stitching with coordinating thread.

Other Ideas:

  • Leave in interesting details from the original shirts, such as the pockets, button placket, or cuffs.
  • Use a collection of shirts that belonged to a loved one to create a special memory quilt.
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88 Responses to Pinpoint Oxford Eiderdown Coverlet Tutorial + Wise Craft Book Giveaway

  1. lesley says:

    i know these projects aren’t really sewing (i am still trying to teach myself) but i crocheted easter egg cozies and made several easter wreaths (little mini chicks glued all the way around wreaths and feather boas and bunny ear headbands to make easter bunnies)

  2. Christina says:

    We chopped up an old newborn shirt to make a couple of headbands for my daughter. We’ll dye the headbands using our leftover Easter egg dye.

  3. Anna says:

    I’m so happy to see people encouraged to upcycle. I’ve don it for many years. Thanks for putting together new and fresh ideas to help us along!

  4. Jess says:

    I love to use scraps of fabric to make quilts for my daughter’s baby dolls!

  5. Hannah says:

    Most of my shopping is done at thrift stores. I love the sound of the book!

  6. Hannah says:

    Most of my shopping is done at thrift stores. I love the sound of your book!

  7. Larissa says:

    This looks terrific, I could have so much fun with it!

  8. Shelley C says:

    I pretty much only shop at thrift stores, salvage yards and yard sales. Its like the thrill of the hunt, looking for items that just need a little love. I just made a really cute summer top out of a GIGANTIC green silk shirt I got at a thrift shop. Very happy with it. I’d love the book to further inspire me, and give me some new ideas to try!

  9. Penny Kitzmiller says:

    After my father passed away I saved his shirts. The ones he wore from day to day. Some had little tiny holes from the dropping of ash from his cigarette. Lol I left them there for remembrance. My mother wanted a little quilt that she could sleep with at night. To her its the most amazing quilt sewn by anyone to date! She really loves it and that’s the most wonderful feeling in the world!! Something old and ready for the trash bringing so much joy to someone special and for others here on after too.
    P.s. I took the collars and sewed her a few pillows too!

  10. Robyn Jones says:

    I made book marks using fabric scraps and ribbon for the first time.

  11. Danielle says:

    I love the idea of this quilt, and I’m always looking for ways to upcycle things around the house!

  12. Debbie says:

    I have altered old clothes to get a new look and I no longer give away clothes that no longer fit if they are made of an great fabric, have lace, or an interesting feature that I might be able to incorporate into another garment later. I love to see “stuff” repurposed. My latest crafty success was a bunting for my great niece’s bedroom.

  13. Lori Morton says:

    Love Love Love Thrifting!! last repuposeing thing I have done, was to make a throw from asst’d wool jackets/blazers …turned out nice…cozy with flannel (Thrift store sheet! lol) back.

  14. marci says:

    This book looks like a lot of fun. I often buy textiles at thrift stores that I think I can cut up and make into something else. Old jeans make great quilts. I would love to add this book by Blair to my collection of craft books.

  15. Cindy Dahlgren says:

    LOVE that quilt. My thrifted makeovers are much smaller. My husbands mom had an old metal rack hanging in her kitchen that she used for spices. Nobody wanted it, and it was headed for the trash. I grabbed it, cleaned it up and spray painted it a flat white and hung it on my bedroom wall, and I’m putting little knick knacks on it.

  16. kat m says:

    oh, I love men’s shirts and pinpoint oxford shirtings!!! Or use corduroy! what a great project!

  17. Karrie Smith says:

    Cool book. Thanks for the chance to win!

  18. Diane says:

    I made my boys quilts out of their grandpa’s flannel shirts when he passed away. They are a good keepsake and so cuddly

  19. Susan says:

    That quilt looks so comfy. I found some cross stitch kits at the thrift store that I have been working on. I also have been cutting up some of my husband’s cast off corduroy shirts and pants to make into a knock around quilt. Would love to win this book.

  20. anna gerard says:

    This looks like a wonderful book! I love upcycling. I’m in the process of crocheting a rug out of old jersey clothing. I want it to be big.

  21. Kelly Wilson says:

    I love thrift stores! I have cashmere sweaters I’ve felted just waiting for a great project.
    Thanks for the opportunity.
    Kelly

  22. Charlotte L says:

    I love to shop thrift stores for fabric,sewing and craft supplies. Ive found yards of designer name fabric several times for very cheep. One time I even found a quilt top made from clothing! This book looks great! Thanks!

  23. jessicac says:

    I have been saving old tshirts, and turning them into yarn.. and little by little I am crocheting a kitty cozy!

  24. Mary says:

    I love that coverlet. It has inspired me to make one from old plaid shirts i have:)

  25. Stephanie says:

    That looks so cozy! I just made my son a tie-dyed hoodie :)

  26. jenny says:

    I love using up scraps! I am making tote bags.

  27. tracy reed says:

    This looks like an excellent way to use up older shirts that may have a stain in the front. Or think of the great thrift store shopping one can do and make these excellent blankets.

  28. Beth says:

    I made a quilt out of my dad’s shirts when he “changed sizes.” It really is nice fabric to work with!

  29. Deb says:

    I frequent my local thrift stores and purchase women’s linen clothing, mostly in size XXL! I love the subtle hues of linen…..the light grays, greens and beiges.

    This book is right up my alley!

  30. Betsy N says:

    I love to repurpose. What a great looking book!

  31. Donna H says:

    I am holding onto clothes from my mother so I can make a quilt for my two kids as a keepsake. Got as far as cutting out the seams on the jeans she loved so much and stopped. Maybe it’s time to pull it out and start over! Love the look of the posted quilt.

  32. Chris says:

    This would be a great one for college students. I will be watching Goodwill for good buys. Thanks for the tutorial and hope I win a copy of the book for more ideas.

  33. Kimmy says:

    I love the idea of reusing clothing to create new textiles….also, the quilt isn’t too complicated for a beginner. I love the idea of recycling!

  34. Marissa says:

    This book looks like it has some great ideas!

  35. Katrin says:

    That books looks so interesting… thanks for the giveaway!

    One of the things I’ve recently made (together with the kids): bags out of their old t-shirts that were too stained to be donated. We cut them up and sewed them together randomly, using graphics for embellishments. Lots of fun and I can remember some of their t-shirts!

  36. Marilyn says:

    I find yards of fabric in the thrift stores here – Lately I have made PJ pants out of flannel and a beautiful fashion cape using red velveteen from the thrift store. I have some fabric from the thrift store that I am going to use to make bias tape.

  37. Lisa Burger says:

    I recently bought a frame from the thrift store and painted it a gold color, then placed lace in three rows with tacs (omitting the glass), then used small clothes pins to attach 8 small greeting cards by my favorite artist! I love it! Hope to win :)

  38. Abigail says:

    This looks like a neat book!

  39. Joan H. says:

    I have some old shirts and some second-hand sheets which will make a great quilt for grandkids to use for making a tent in the back yard this summer.

  40. Cindy Dahlgren says:

    In all of my crafting I upcycle as much as possible. I re-use old wine bottles to make lamps and lights. I’m also sewing from my stash as much as possible, trying to only use new fabric for backings when possible. I also rehab old dressers and other pieces of furniture.

  41. Lynda says:

    I love this idea. I made a vest from a thrift man’s shirt. I cut off the sleeves and sewed batique small squares all over the shirt, all shades of green,

    Would love this book.

  42. Sarah says:

    We just moved and I am in the process of decorating on a low budget, so I am making everything; bathmats from scraps, quilts from used clothes and sheets, kitchen chair cushions from upholstery samples, edged towels from leftover quilt binding, new curtains from old curtains, etc! Fun! This book sounds wonderful!

  43. Heidi says:

    I love my scraps and I love thrift stores!!! I recently made a tote bag and a clotgespin pouch from recycled fabrics

  44. melle e. says:

    I love using upcycled fabric! I’m actually resurrecting a leather jacket and an old linen skirt into a pocketbook/tote/purse that I’ve been pattern testing. I can’t wait to see it complete! Breathing new life into something that was loved… so you can love it all over again!

  45. Ann says:

    When my hubby’s large tees get a small hole or stain, I turn them into super comfy pj pants for my kids – they are their absolute favorites! I have also used thrifted men’s oxford shirts to make clothes for the kids, the fabric is so soft!

  46. Beth says:

    What an awesome project! My latest project doesn’t use any recycled products but it does use up some of my horded yarn! I’m working on a baby blanket for a friend’s upcoming arrival.

  47. Kimberly says:

    I’ve been wanting to try making a quilt & this looks like a great one to start with.

    Our local Goodwill actually sells shirts already cut up. They make perfect scraps for small projects. I remember using them to make something for my daughter but I can’t remember what I made. Lol

  48. Laura G says:

    As a matter of fact, I just sewed up a tote bag as a gift for my mom’s birthday. I used some upholstery samples, a jumper I got from Goodwill, and some navy fabric I have from who-knows-where. Love the book, Love the concept!

  49. Karen says:

    I love thrift stores, and I think I could make good use of this book!

  50. Lindsay H says:

    My husband has promised me all of his cotton dress shirts as they wear out, get tears and stains, etc. but so far that is only one, lol. Someday I’ll have enough for a quilt like this though!!

  51. audrey says:

    It’s been awhile since I upcycled anything interesting–would love a chance to read through this book!

  52. Sandal says:

    Great quilt and a wonderful way to commemorate a loved one.

  53. kim t. says:

    so cozy! this looks like a great book.

  54. Carmen N says:

    I took some fabric scraps I received from my mother-in-law and turned them into a pencil roll for my daughter

  55. Sarah says:

    This looks lovely! I would like to make a pillow sham with scraps leftover from my latest quilt….but I have to finish the quilt first ;)

  56. Shelby says:

    I found a cloth shower curtain and turned it into curtains for my kiddo’s room. It’s so much fun when re-purposing goes together so well! Excited for the giveaway!

  57. Lately, I’ve been sewing for Project Run and Play. One of my favorite upcycles was a jean picnic blanket that I made out of my grandpa’s striped overalls.

  58. siobhan says:

    I made an Elsa-from-Frozen dress for my 5yo from mostly stash fabric. Would love to have a copy of this book.

  59. Amanda says:

    Lately I am in the process of turning one of dad’s old dress shirts into a dress for my little girl. Super cute!

  60. Emme says:

    Just wish listed this on AMAZON!!!

  61. melissa says:

    I turned a Lily Pulitzer dress and a pair of Tommy Hilfiger cropped pants I bought at a thrift store into bags.

  62. Mary P says:

    I recently finished a quilt but I’ve got all sorts of plans for scraps and re-use. This book seems like a great inspiration!

  63. My latest item was a $1 swap meet button down shirt that I refashioned into a cute tank with a button back. Here’s a peek! http://www.vintagezest.com/2014/03/challenge-5-refashioned-simple-top.html

  64. Laura says:

    First comment? That never happens to me. Looks like a cool book and a great project – luckily I have a huge thrift store in walking distance!

    It wasn’t thrifted but my last craft success was making a kids play blood pressure cuff out of some foam, velcro, nylon rope, and the squeaker from an old dog’s toy.

  65. Sarah says:

    Although it isn’t a finished project yet… I just scored a lovely pink, white, and green striped twin sheet set for $1 at my Goodwill that I’m excited to turn into a dress for my little girl. My last thrifty success was turning cereal boxes into drawer organizers for a dresser that now houses my fabric & trim stash. I adore the colors in this blanket– thanks for sharing!

  66. R says:

    Would love to win this book!
    Projects here of late are mending & unfinished quilts! :P

  67. Jess says:

    I love repurposing thrift store finds! I buy sheets from thrift stores all the time to use as quilt backing (planning my next quilt with that process right now), and recently I taught my daughter how to cut the cuff off of an old pair of jeans and turn it into a skirt for her doll!

    Jess

  68. Crystal Rose says:

    Most recently I used some beads I had sitting around and recycled findings to make a pretty awesome pendant necklace with a matching bracelet.

  69. Jennifer G Miller says:

    I haven’t created anything lately except calligraphy projects. But I have a stack of Oxford shirts that I have planned to use for quilts for my son, so this project is perfect for me.

  70. Skipper says:

    What a great way to honor those well love shirts, and saved fabric budget!

  71. Marcy says:

    Oops! Forgot to share what I’ve made–a quilt of old jeans and denim shirts.

  72. Jessie Hansen says:

    HO-lee cow. I was just thinking about doing this same thing with my Dad’s shirts that I have hanging up in my craft room closet for either my siblings or his widow. I’ve never done a quilt this way, though, with the pillow case method. I might try it, but I might not. We will see.

  73. Marcy says:

    That looks so cozy and warm! And what a great use of thrift store finds. Thanks for sharing.

  74. Nique Et says:

    Made a crown out of fresh picked azaleas and lab tape :)

  75. I am making curtains right now. This looks like a great book. Thanks for the chance to win!

  76. Stefanie says:

    I am in an online “insta”bee on Instagram! (Check out my hive! #moderninstabee13)… Each month we create a block of the queen bee’s choosing. Each month I make it a goal to mix modern fabrics with at least 1 of the fabrics I inherited from my grandmoher’s stash. I love mixing modern wih vintage fabrics!

  77. Stefanie says:

    Oops! Clearly didn’t totally read the question! I am in an online “insta”bee on IG. Each month we make the queen bees chosen block. In each block I am making it a goal to include at least 1 of my grandma’s fabrics from the stash I inherited. It is fun to include vintage fabrics wih modern!!!

  78. SS in NH says:

    I love this quilt idea. I usually just wear clothes from the thrift store.

  79. Stefanie says:

    Ahh love her idea of up cycling oxford shirts! This could be neat with my husband’s work/union shirts! Id love to win her book for more fab ideas!

  80. http://jpearlcreates.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-funner-frock.html?m=1 a thrifted linen dress and added tabs at neckline to loop scarves through.

  81. Susan says:

    I would love to win a copy of Blair’s book. Thanks for the chance!

  82. Nupur says:

    I bought some old frames at thrift stores and painted them to hold my toddler’s artwork- this has to be one of my favorite projects ever! And I’ve been using fabric scraps to make colorful bunting. Thanks for the giveaway!

  83. Lauren Suarez says:

    This book sounds like so much fun!!! I am currently working on my first appliqué quilt. I am really enjoying it you can get so creative with appliqué designs!! Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  84. Sue N says:

    My husbands entire work wardrobe consist of the colors you show! He was told the French blue makes his eyes “pop”! Looking forward to doing this project.
    Thanks for a wonderful blog….

  85. lesley says:

    i have been working on easter and spring wreaths, easter egg cozies (using scrap yarn), bunny treat bags (using scrap fabric) – but have SO many things on the “to do” list!!!!

  86. Crystal L says:

    I’m actually in the middle of a quilt project that will be made from old pairs of pants that either don’t fit anymore or got worn out from work. They are blue jeans and khaki, so I’m thinking of alternating long strips to contrast the colors. The size will be about 3×3 feet. It will eventually be given to my dog, because she likes blankets and doesn’t have one of her very own :)

  87. dani e says:

    this reminds me of the quilts my mom used to make for my siblings and me when we were little. She would use scraps from our clothes that she had made us and my dads shirts.
    may have to add one to my going to do list.

  88. Charlotte says:

    I love using thrift store goods when I sew or craft. This sounds like a great book!

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